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Immigrant dairy workers’ perceptions of health and safety on the farm in America’s Heartland

Immigrant dairy workers’ perceptions of health and safety on the farm in America’s Heartland

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  • Immigrant dairy workers' perceptions of health and safety on the farm in America's Heartland

  • Authors: Liebman AK, Juarez-Carrillo PM, Reyes IA, Keifer MC

    American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2016

    ABSTRACT:

    Dairy farming is dangerous. Yearly, farms grow fewer and larger by employing immigrant workers, who have limited industrial agriculture experience and safety and health training.

    We examined results of five focus groups with 37 Hispanic, immigrant dairy workers. Analysis followed a grounded theory approach and employed ATLAS.ti.  Reported injury experience affirmed the hazardous nature of dairy. Some workers received appropriate worker compensation benefits, whereas others were instructed to deny work-relatedness. Some employers covered medical injury costs out-of-pocket, whereas others did not. Cows were a major injury source. Pressure to work and weather were noted as injury risk factors. Worker compensation was poorly understood, and immigration status and fear of deportation influenced injury and hazard reporting.

    Conclusion
    Injury management practices range from benevolent to threatening. Workers compensation is poorly understood and undocumented status is an occupational hazard. We underscore the need for further research and immigration policy change.

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  • « Back to Database
  • Immigrant dairy workers' perceptions of health and safety on the farm in America's Heartland

  • Authors: Liebman AK, Juarez-Carrillo PM, Reyes IA, Keifer MC

    American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2016

    ABSTRACT:

    Dairy farming is dangerous. Yearly, farms grow fewer and larger by employing immigrant workers, who have limited industrial agriculture experience and safety and health training.

    We examined results of five focus groups with 37 Hispanic, immigrant dairy workers. Analysis followed a grounded theory approach and employed ATLAS.ti.  Reported injury experience affirmed the hazardous nature of dairy. Some workers received appropriate worker compensation benefits, whereas others were instructed to deny work-relatedness. Some employers covered medical injury costs out-of-pocket, whereas others did not. Cows were a major injury source. Pressure to work and weather were noted as injury risk factors. Worker compensation was poorly understood, and immigration status and fear of deportation influenced injury and hazard reporting.

    Conclusion
    Injury management practices range from benevolent to threatening. Workers compensation is poorly understood and undocumented status is an occupational hazard. We underscore the need for further research and immigration policy change.

    READ ARTICLE